tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC December 21, 2012 10:00am-11:00am PST
concussion. reaction ahead. a house divided now that plan b has gone belly up. what now for the speaker? >> they weren't taking that out on me. they were dealing with the perception that someone might accuse them of raising taxing. merry christmas, everyone. >> merry christmas? really? are they leaving town with nothing accomplished? any moment now democrats will respond. nancy pelosi will have a news conference. we'll bring that live. newtown and the nation paused earlier today remembering the 26 souls who were lost exactly one week ago. president obama and his top advisors join the remembrance in the oval office. the nra responded shrugging off protesters today. the gun lobby's answer? more guns. armed guards in our schools.
>> the only way to stop a monster from killing our kids is to be personally involved and invested in a plan of absolute protection. the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. >> and, finally, the nation says aloha to senator daniel inouye. >> he was a wise, a good man. the reason he could be courageous without being sanctimonious. the reason he could be so generous and old-fashionedly gallant without seeming pompous, the reason he could be friends across the aisle and find principled compromise without sacrificing principle is because
that is who he was. this moving and personal tribute from president obama. >> and who taught so many of us, including a young boy growing up in hawaii that america every america has a place for everyone. may god bless daniel inouye, and may god grant us more souls like his. ♪ ♪ somewhere over the rainbow blue birds fly ♪ >> good day. i'm andrea mitchell live in washington where we are expecting to see the first major announcement for president obama's second term. his cabinet choices. this hour the official selection of john kerry as the futures face of the state department. former president bill clinton departing that memorial service. the funeral for senator inouye moments ago with president obama taking time to speak with senator kerry after the service.
joining me now for our daily fix chris alissa, msnbc managing editor of post politics.com jeffrey goldberg, national correspondent for the atlantic washington bureau chief susan page, and the "new york times" white house correspondent mark lamb berg. let's talk about the pick of john kerry. we knew it was coming. the timing is interesting. they wanted to do this before christmas, but then we thought it was going to be after christmas, even from the kerry people. how did this all come together for today? >> i think the white house, andrea, wanted to get one of these announcements out the door before the christmas holiday and given that this was the worst kept secret in washington, it seemed the right day to do it. what's interesting is it is only senator kerry. there's no announcement for secretary of defense or the pentagon. there are short lists for both of those jobs, but the fact that he is only going out with senator kerry suggests that there may be some questions surrounding the candidates for those other posts. the intrigue continues.
>> the intrigue, indeed, and chuck hagel, of course, is the name that has become controversial again. we are in a situation, jeff goldberg, where someone's name is put out there. it's floated, and surrounding opposition piles on. can the president -- can this president afford to bail on a second person the way some perceive he bailed on susan rice before the nomination is even made? >> i don't know what you call the endless float. these people are put out there. their names are floated, and then they're floated endlessly, and it gives time for all of this opposition to arise and formulate, but, no, i mean, the short answer is obviously he bailed on susan rice who was his close confidant and friend. he apparently wants chuck hagel in this job very much. it would look very weak to be put it bluntly -- it would look weak to bail on this because of some coalessing opposition. >> and one thing has been cleaned up in the last few
minutes, in fact. there was also opposition developing from the lgbt community because susan, of what chuck hagel had said 14 years ago in opposition to the nomination of james hormel, openly gay, as an ambassador to luxembourg. it would have been the first openly gay ambassador. he eventually was named by a recess appointment because the senate came out against him. chick hagel calm out against him in offensive terms. he has apologiesed for that today putting out a statement saying that that was 14 years ago. he has completely supportive of the lgbt community and chad griffin's group has said that that is a lesson as to how far people have come and is basically blessing this as well. >> there are a lot of people in politics and in american life who have changed their views on gay rights and the appropriate roles and responsibilities of gay men and lesbians. this is sad. it seems to me it reflect in
some part the big victories that the gay and lesbian community had. in the election last month in passing gay marriage in two states. i think this was something that senator hagel had to do. he had to take care of this brewing issue before they moved forward on this no, ma'am nation. >> that could deal with the conservative criticism. they could push back against that because of his record. two purple hearts. we'll get into that. his whole biography with swung who has worked very closely with him, fred kemp. coming up. they couldn't deal with it coming from both the right and their own constituency. the president is having problems with these choices, and if it is going to be chuck hagel at the pentagon and then he has to figure out what he is going to do at treasury and at cia because you are going to have an all white male national security cabinet. >> john kerry, a democrat, and chuck hagel, a republican, but what do they have in common?
they're both white male senators in their sort of 60s. remember, the president made very clear -- >> veterans we should point out. >> and veterans as well. >> neither is gay. >> fair point. the president has said repeatedly that he wanted a cabinet that reflected america. well, susan mentioned that the 2012 election, what did that election tell us? it told us that the demographic changes that we've all sort of been waiting for, the continued decline of the white vote, the rise of the hispanic vote is here, and that would, it anything, accentuate the immediate from president obama to pick someone. >> it's not a done deal that senator flora is out. >> let me go quickly to mark landler as nancy pelosi is about to speak. what do we know about the thinking going into the kerry nomination? >> i think the thinking is, first of all, he will get no opposition on the hill whatsoever. senator mccain jokingly has
started referring to him as mr. secretary, so at a time when the president doesn't need another source of friction on the hill, this is about as uncontroversial a way as he could have gone, and perhaps it opens the door for him to stick with senator hagel who is likely to generate a few more questions, although really there's only one or two senators who have actually threatened to try to stand in the way of that nomination. i think the premium here is on really causing as few ripples as possible, given all the other business that he has to get done. >> and nancy pelosi is at the podium, as you see, responding to what happened with john boehner last night. let's listen. >> every time we are close to a solution, whether it was a year and a half ago in the summer or right now, the republicans walk away. when we thought we were close this week, republicans decided to follow another path, a path that led them over the cliff, a route in which they even did not
have the votes. that was then. this is now. let's go back to the negotiation table. we have no right to walk out the door of congress with no clear path to a resolution of this challenge. it's time to get back on track. it's time to get back to the negotiating table. we must work together in a bipartisan way to create jobs, to grow the economy, strengthen the middle class, reduce the deficit, and to do so in a responsible way. we can and we must get the job done now. i'm pleased to yield to the distinguished democratic leader mr. hoyer. >> back to you, mark landler. this is the other big issue, the larger issue, facing the white house. the president is now grappling with what to do now that speaker boehner has collapsed with his own caucus. what is their approach? do they reach out and try to
bail them out with democratic support or let him just kind of stew in the mess that has been created on the hill? >> well, you know, jay carney said last night after it became clear that the house speaker didn't have any votes for his whole plan, that the president remained ready to do a deal. he think they'll extend that as a life rapt to the speaker and suggest that. >> will he be able to bring the caucus in line for a plan a, and all of this happens against this very interesting back drop. there's the congress is now heading out of session. there's talk of the president flying to hawaii in the next couple of days, so the timeline for all of this is murkier than ever, but, yes, i think the white house's approach will be to offer to throw him a line and see whether he grabs it. >> susan page democrats could
produce the votes. the president could go to hawaii, have his christmas with his family and be available when there's something for him to sign. >> here's the question that john boehner did not abc this morning. would he bring to the floor a measure that could pass the house but not attract a majority of republican rights. now, that's something that republicans since the days of speaker hastert have insisted. a majority of the majority. you could have all the democrats and some republicans, but not a majority and pass the bill. will that happen, and john boehner was asked that this morning and did not respond. >> chris alissa, you have a situation where the democrats if they were to do that could put the republicans on the offensive? they could say we did this with democratic votes, but, of course, whatever they do is going to be painful so there's no buy-in. >> you know, in a way i think a lot of democrats celebrated last night when they saw that the plan b wasn't even bringing brought to the floor. i would say yes and no.
this does still have to go through a republican controlled house. can you peel off 20 or 25 republicans and have john boehner and eric cantor agree to bring up a bill that is going to be worse from a republican perspective than the one they just voted down last night? do they agree to that or not, and what is that -- if they do agree to it, does that further erode john boehner's hold within the republican conferences? is that a concern if he does it? you know, i would say president obama at least if boehner had passed plan b, there was a path forward. it was not perfect, but there was a way we could see, okay, this compromise is going to wind up. i would say today we're now sort of press the reset button. now it's barack obama, harry reid, and mitch mcconnell, and john boehner is the guy on the outside rather than it being john boehner and president obama. we're ten days away with a whole new game plan. >> john kerry's foreign policy, jeff goldberg, getting back to that, we're going to have this nomination this hour. is his foreign policy going to be obama boem's foreign policy? will his advice to the president
be appreciatably different than hillary clinton's? >> well, in point of fact it will have to be barack obama's foreign policy. he is going to -- it's very difficult for senators to make this transition. he elizabeth be an employee. an employee with -- still an employee of the president. that said, i think sde have -- my impression is he does have a more active stance on i couple of key issues on reaching out to iran, on middle east peace process. i know that the president is not that interested in pursuing middle east peace process right now. he doesn't see a high chance of success. as a new secretary of state, of course, he wants to make his mark, and so you are going to see some conversation in the administration about what to make a priority. >> is he going to discover it's not a very nice plane. >> especially, yeah. >> from people like us. we've been there, done that. thank you, jeff goldberg. thank you so much. i know you're iffing to be there covering all of that in the coming minutes. in many ways john kerry's life does seem like an audition of secretary of state. tours of duty in vietnam and
followed by nearly 30 years in the senate. all of them on the foreign relations committee and the last four as chairman. during his speech to the democratic national convepgs. stoo will he protect our country and our allies, advance our interests in our deal, do battle where we must and make peace where we can. our opponents like to talk about american exceptionalism, but all they do is talk, but forget that we are exceptional not because we say we are, but because we do exceptional things. we break out of the great depression, win two world wars, save lives fighting aids, pull people out of poverty, defend freedom, go to the moon, and produce exceptional people who even give their lives for civil rights and for human rights. >> john gary at the convention. fred kemp is president and ceo of the atlantic council, which is chaired by chuck hagel.
the former republican senator who, as we say, is possibly nominated to be defense secretary, but that nomination under fire from the right wing, and now as well from others in the lgbt community, but, fred, thank you very much for joining us. a lot has happened today. under the -- the letterhead of the atlantic council, chuck hagel has put out a statement saying my comments 14 years ago in 1998 about james hormel, the proposed mom knee to be ambassador to luxembourg, were insensitive. they do not reflect my views or the totally of my public record, and i apologized to ambassador hormel or & any lgbt americans who may question my support of their civil rights. i am fully open to open service and supportive of lgbt military families. >> this had become a big issue because arguably the white house could push back against republican critics, but not against this involving a core value of this president. >> it also -- it also underscores who senator hagel
is. he said i made a statement that i don't feel good about. i'm going tell you that. >> i support the president's policies, and that's who i'm going to be. that's he the person i've been working with as chairman of the atlantic council. he is a person who takes strong points of view. he thinks of the strategic consequences. he tries to put pieces together for policy, and he is very, very consistent and i must say also demands execution and really wants performance, and that's not such a bad thing for him to tell you. sfoo now, he does not have experience in managing something, obviously. who does, as large as the pentagon? is he the best choice to deal with the budget cuts and the kinds of things that leon panetta, because he was a former budget head of omb had more
experience in? >> andrea, one of the interesting things about the statement you just read is that's normally the sort of thing that senator hagel would say once he is nominated in his -- when he testifies before the senate, for senate committee. this is a very unusual situation. he hasn't even been nominated for the job, and he is being put you tloo a quasi-nomination process. every candidate has strengths and -- that are larger than others. this is a person with two purple hearts. this is a person who has been on the intelligence committee of the senate. he has been on the foreign relations committee of the senate. as with senator kerry, there isn't a learning curve here. he doesn't have to do a world tour to get to know world leaders. he knows them. he knows them personally. he didn't just know them in the senate. he has known them for the last four years as chairman of the atlantic council as well. so i think -- i think a senator with that kind of global reach brings something different to the job than someone who may be more of a numbers cruncher, but
this is a person who really wants results so he will look at the numbers and he will say what's in mesh's interest? what is strategically necessary? how do we get the job done? >> now, i have talked to people in the foreign policy and military community, former top officials. they've gathered together to sign a letter of support for chuck hagel pointing out his strong credentials for this job and pushing back against the criticism. yet, today now we've heard from chad griffin and the human rights campaign saying that that statement that you and chuck hagel issued today is good enough for them. that it shows his growth and how mainstream these positions have become. >> two things, just to make one thing clear. this is a senator hagel statement, and he is our chairman of the atlantic
council. the atlantic council doesn't take positions. i'm coming on more as someone talking about the situation and someone who knows senator hagel. let's put this in context. why is all this happening right now? there is an industry in town, and quite a few industries in town, that have to do with finding people's decisions. we saw it during the election campaign. we've seen it now. they say we're in an inflexion point in history that's as important in 19 hashgs 1989. we didn't know then how it would end up. it was human agency. it was leaders that shape that. we're in that position now as the united states. we have a chance to continue our global leadership. in 1945 we had 50% of global gdp. now we have more around 20%, 22%. we have to work with allies. what's hurting us is this domestic political polarization. you can't divide domestic politics and foreign policy any
longer. we're shooting ourselves in the foot when we're on the cusp of an economic rebound, and that hurts people like senator hagel where you have a domestic political situation really in a way jumping into a national security question. >> if the president backs down again, what signal does that send, in a word? >> yeah, we -- the white house hasn't said he is nominated, so it will be an interpretation whether he is "backed down" or not. i think we have to instead of looking at the president, is he backing down, it's more how do we fix a polarized situation in the united states? we're about to have thanks to tight oil, shale gas, energy revolution, all the trillions of dollars backed up in companies that can be spent on jobs and growth. all of this is being held up by political uncertainty, political polarization.
i think this is more the issue, and certainly the president is going to have to deal with that, and it's not going to hurt him to have a republican in the senate even if he is a controversial republican. >> in the cabinet. thank you very much. >> in the pentagon is what i meant to say. thank you. >> thank you very much, fred kemp. >> thank you. >> from the atlantic council. coming up, in the wake of the newtown tragedy, the nra is calling for armed guards in the nation's schools. reaction from utah congressman jason chafitz coming up next. we're awaiting an official announcement from the president in the roosevelt room expected to nominate senator john kerry for secretary of state and we'll bring that to you life. i'm glad we got cdw and cisco to design our data center.
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leading critics of the administration's response to benghazi, republican congressman jason chaffitz. i know the senate is the confirming body, not you, but does this end the controversy over benghazi, or does that continue and need to be investigated? that, the panel having spoken, and hillary clinton having promised to follow-up. sfoo no, there's still a long ways to go to get to the bottom of benghazi, and making sure it never ever happens again. i'm sure that senator kerry will be easily confirmed from the senate. i think he is a good and decent person. i probably disagree with him on most every issue, but many terms of being a good person, i'm sure he will be confirmed, but we have as to go on benghazi. >> your committees have said you want to hear from hillary clinton? >> absolutely. she was the person in charge. we have four dead americans. we have -- think about it. in a 60-day period a group said there are more than two dozen systemic failures. they offered 60 recommendations. what in the world has been going on over there to have so many problems? >> let's talk about gun control because the national rifle
association has responded, and basically said let's stop the bad guys with guns with good guys with guns or good teachers with guns and more guns. how do you respond to those who say that more guns are not the answer? >> well, you know, guns aren't necessarily for everyone. i happen to be a conceal carry permit holder. i have a glok, a shotgun. there are some schools that will find a solution best by having an armed person there who has passed the appropriate background checks, and i would support that. i wouldn't necessarily say that every school has to do this. it has to be a local decision. i don't want the federal government to make all these decision. i want communities and parents and schools to make these types of decisions. >> don't they need to on the federal level bays, as mike bloomberg and others would tell from you urban areas, philadelphia mayor nutter, the guns are illegal, the
semiautomatics. >> in utah we think we do it a lot better than the way they do it in chicago and the way that they do it better than they do in new york city. we happen to be much more conducive to allowing people to get conceal carry permits. we happen to think that if you go through the appropriate process to get the conceal carry permit, that's a good thing, but guns aren't for everybody, but as a constitutional right, you should be able to access. >> what about background checks? 40% of the guns sold in this country are sold without background checks? are there some steps that the nra should be accepting so that you can begin to get a handle on the proliferation of weapons in the hands of people who should not have them? >> i do verz who, and i have expressed them since the moment in tragedy happened and before. this intersection between use of lethal weapons and the access to lethal weapons and the mental health side. i think that's common ground.
first and foremost, you don't want somebody who doesn't have the mental capacity to make these types of rationale decisions, be able to obtain a gun, and that is a difficult equation. when you are going to take somebody's constitutional rights away, that's a different -- difficult intersection. something -- i want to have an open mind. i'm as pro-gun as they get, but -- >> are you open to some controls on the semiautomatics? the machine -- weapons of war? >> i will have an open mind on anything, but i tell you, i'm as rock solid second amendment as there is. we had an assault weapons ban. it didn't really do anything. the crime rate was coming down beforehand. after the ten-year ban, it continued to go down. less than 2% of the problem here happens with these so-called assault weapons, and so if you really want to try to get to the bigger, broader root of the problem, i think you have to tackle first and fooer most the mental health side of it. we need to talk about gangs. we need to talk about border violence. this is where these things happen by the tens of thousands.
>> jason chaffetz, thank you. see you on "meet the press" on sunday with david gregory, and president obama expecting to make his announcement nominating john kerry for secretary of state at any moment in the roosevelt room at the white house, and we'll bring it to you live. we'll be right back. [ male announcer ] citi turns 200 this year. in that time there've been some good days. and some difficult ones. but, through it all, we've persevered, supporting some of the biggest ideas in modern history. so why should our anniversary matter to you? because for 200 years, we've been helping ideas move from ambition to achievement. and the next great idea could be yours. ♪
thank you very much. this is a week after the horror in connecticut. we're still burying the dead, those children. the nra, you heard the statement. more guns. guns in schools perhaps. mike bloomberg has just issued a statement saying the nra's washington leadership has long been out of step with its members and never has it been so apparent as this morning. their press conference was a shameful invasion of the issues facing our country. >> i agree. saying that we are the simple solution is to have an armed
guard in every school just they basically skirted the issues. one of the major issues we have here is, you know, we've got guns, assault weapons that the military would normally use. we've got those in our neighborhoods and in our schools. we can't have that. he talked, mr. la pierre of the nra, talked at length about the monster that is are in our society, but he really, andrea, didn't talk about how we make sure those monsters don't get the guns. i haut it was an effort to try to put forth a solution, but that solution is very, very limited. he never talked about these high capacity ammo clips that are not needed unless you're killing -- trying to kill a lot of people, and so i think the nra had an
opportunity to step up to the plate. they didn't. basically i think they are waiting for another day. they'll let this die down, and then i don't think we will hear a whole lot more from them. by the way, it's not practical for a lot of jurisdictions to have a guard in every school because government -- our republican friends are cutting back on almost every dime that goes in the state, local, and federal government. where is the money going to come from to do these things? >> let me ask you also because i know you have a personal connection, sadly, to this. you lost your nephew, chris cummings, to gun violence. he was in an off campus apartment i think. >> that's correct, andrea. >> how does that experience as a family that has suffered the loss of a child, your nephew, inform your reaction to all of this? >> what it does, andrea, is it makes you -- it makes me want to
make sure that that does not happen to another young person, and i think that if i were -- you know, when i went to see my nephew's apartment a few days after he was killed at 5:00 in the morning, murdered, to see that blood splattered, my blood, splattered all over the windows and the walls was very painful, and so what you try to do -- i know these families will do the same thing. what they will try to do is take their pain, turn it into a passion to carry out a purpose of making a difference, and so i think at this moment, andrea, this is the moment that the nra needs to step up and work with people who have gone through these tragedies and make a difference. no one is trying to take the guns out of hands of hunters and people who have a gun for a rightful purpose. basically, can i tell you, andrea, in my neighborhood, a
person can get one of these assault weapons faster than they can get a cigarette, and so keep in mind that in our nation we've got 88, 89 guns per 100 people in the united states as compared to england with about ten per 100 people. that's crazy, and out of the -- we have about 5% of the population of the world, we have half the guns in the world. that makes no sense. >> elijah cummings, thank you for talking about this today. it's been about a year and a half. >> yes, it has been. >> 2011. >> that's right. >> since chris cummings was killed. >> thank you. >> thank you for talking about it. >> thank you, andrea. thank you for bringing it up. zinks joining us for or political briefing today senior political reporter jonathan martin and senior white house senior again thrush, co-authors of "the end of the line" a great insider account of the closing
months really of this political campaign. both of you watched the president and his whole team up close. jay, to you, guns not brought up once until that one debate. >> except mentioning this, but you look at the three debates that president obama had, the one debate for the vp's. it was not an issue. it hadn't been an issue in american politics going back to 2000, andrea, as you know recalling when al gore lost his home state of tennessee and he lost west virginia. a lot of democrats pop layings because of the gun issue. they basically have seized it ever since. >> if you watch also on the screen the roosevelt room awaiting for the president to come in, and you see that joe biden is standing there as well. glen, the president and his team, they believed all along that there was no way they would win this, according to the polls? >> and the president himself held governor romney in
contempt, and obama's team did, and i think that was one of the big problems that they suffered heading into that debate in denver as they just didn't take all that seriously, and that was really the biggest threat that they faced was the president had not been in the game. this is a guy that -- he feels threatened. >> was that over confidence? was that arrogance? now -- >> john kerry was the president -- >> no, exactly. obama did not blame john kerry. they think this president had a hard time taking romney serious. he was a sort of gaff-prone rich guy that was not at his level. i think he won that debate because of overconfidence. he went to -- was doing some tourism in the days leading up to that denver debate. he was not focused on it. >> it was also a two-way street, you see, because obama lashed out at his own team for not
prepping him properly. they had gone in -- in august they will gone in with an aggressive strategy, and then romney had the 47% comment. we have folks quoting obama who say you have confused me. you don't really -- >> here is the president and john kerry standing by and watching this mom nation. >> our nation was engaged in two wars, and al qaeda was entrenched in their safe havens. many of the alliances were frayed, and america's standing in the world did suffer. over the past four years we have begun a new era of american leadership. we ended the war in iraq, but the al qaeda core on the path to defight, and we're winding down the war in afghanistan. we strengthen our alliances, including in asia, forged new coalitions to meet global challenges and stood up for human dignity from north africa, to burma. we still, of course, face great
challenges, but today i can say with pride that the united states is safer, stronger, and more respected in the world. ms work i've been fwrafl for an extraordinary national security team. tom donnolan has been part of that, and i'm grateful to him. of course, one of the most important people in this whole transformation has been our outstanding secretary of state, my friend, secretary hillary clinton. hillary wanted very much to be here today, but she continues to recuperate. i had a chance to talk to her earlier today, and she is in good spirits and could not be more excited about the announcement that i'm making. over the last four years hillary has been everywhere. both in terms of her travels which we've seen her represent america in more countries than any previous secretary of and state state and through her tireless work to restore our global leadership, and she's looking forward to getting back to work, and i am looking
forward to paying tribute to her extraordinary service in the days to come. today, though, i'm looking ahead to my second term, and i am very proud to announce my choice for america's next secretary of state, john kerry. in a sense john's entire life has prepared him for this role. as the son of a foreign service officer, he has a deep respect for the men and women of the state department, the role they play in vabsing our interests and values, the risks that they undertake and the sacrifices they make along with their families. having served with valor in vietnam, he understands that we have a responsibility to use american power wisely, especially our military power. he knows from personal experience that when we send our troops into harm's way, we must develop a sound strategy and the resources that they need to get the job done. in an extraordinarily
distinguished senate career and as chairman of the foreign relations committee, john's played a essential role in every major foreign policy debate for nearly 30 years. as we turn the page on a decade at war, he mandz that we've got to harnass all elements of american power and make sure they are working together. diplomatic development, economic, and political, military and intelligence as well as the power of our values which inspire so many people around the world. as john has said, we are an exceptional nation, not because we say we are, but because we do exceptional things. i would say that one of more exceptional things we've seen in recent decades was when job helped lead the way along with folks like john mccain and others to restore our diplomatic ties. when he returned to the country where he and so many others had fought so long ago, it's a powerful message of power and of healing.
john has earned the respect and confidence of leaders around the world. he is not going to need a lot of on the job training. he has earned the respect and trust of his senate colleagues of democrats and republicans. not many have known as many presidents or prime ministers or grasped our foreign policies as firmly as john kerry, and this makes it a perfect choice to guide american diplomaacy in the years ahead. john has been a great friend. i have appreciated john's partnership in helping to advance so many of my foreign policy priorities including the ratification of the new star treaty. tal sxents diplomatic skills on several occasions, on complex challenges from sudan and south sudan to the situation in afghanistan, and each time he has been exexetch mraer. john invited a young illinois
state senator to address the democratic convention in boston. i was proud to serve with him on the foreign relations committee under the tuteladge of joe biden, and where we all became friends. of course, monthing brings two people closer together than week ofs of debate prep. john, i look forward to working with you instead of debating you. finally, i want to thank theresa. as someone who came to this country as an immigrant, she understands the shining values that america represents to the world. as a former interpreter at the united nations muggies, she appreciates how our interests can be advanced in partnership with others, to raise a thank you so much for being john's partner in this next endeavor. i have to say, i think i speak for john and joe and myself, you know, we just left danny
inouye's funeral, a man who exetchfied the very best of the u.s. senate tradition and so i know that john, it won't be ease where i to leave the senate that you love. and i think it's fair to say there will be great challenges ahead. an uncertain world will continue to test our nation. even with all the challenges that you face, i have never been more confident, more optimistic, than if we act with wisdom and with purpose and we're guided by our values and we remind what binds us together as americans, the united states will continue to lead ms world for our lifetimes. john, i'm very grateful that you agreed to take on this new assignment. i'm confident that the senate will confirm you quickly. i guess you won't be able to actually appear and pride at the same time, so we'll have to
figure out how that works, but i know that you're going to be an outstanding secretary of state. thank you so much. [ applause ] >> mr. president, is there going to be a deal? mr. vice president? mr. dodd? >> the president leaving the roosevelt room without answering any shouted questions about the fiscal cliff from the so-called white house pool. i'm still here with jonathan martin and glen thrush, both experienced white house reporters. he paid tribute to theresa hines-kerry, who started as a
u.n. interpreter as a young woman from mozambique who is foreign-born, come to the united states to work at the u.n. also, paying tribute to john kerry and the fact that john kerry gave him his first platform, his first national platform. he was a young state senator in 2004 who was invited to keynote the democratic convention in boston. >> and i'm also reminded of the fact that in 2008 john kerry offered a key endorsement of then senator obama at a rally many south carolina, and that south carolina primary was also hugely important for then senator obama, and john kerry gave him that endorsement. it was a very important day. >> obama also references this debate prep session, which is really -- >> that he worked so hard on. >> because kerry apparently at the initial sessions played it really softball to obama and people like david plouffe walked up to kerry and said, look, you have to take it tougher on him, and apparently kerry really did. calling him a failure, just going point by point by point
anticipating the attacks of romney. >> thank you so much, both of you. glen, jonathan, congratulations on the ebook, and we'll be right back. >> $3. >> what's next for the fiscal cliff, up next. arrhea, gas, blo? yeah. one phillips' colon health probiotic cap each day helps defend against these digestive issues with three strains of good bacteria. approved! [ phillips' lady ] live the regular life. phillips'.
to do next? will they bail boehner out of the fix he's in? what is the compromise? joining me is the man on-the-spot, maryland congressman and house minority whip, steny hoyer. anything happening up there today? >> we just had a press conference talking about it but nothing else is happening at this point. >> they went home. how does the house go home for christmas while this budget compromise is still nowhere? >> andrea, that's a good question. i don't have an answer to it. it's not the responsible thing for to us have done. but having said that, what i'm hopeful, very hopeful is that
john boehner and the president will engage today, tomorrow, the next day to work very hard at getting a compromise and very frankly john boehner, now understands clearly there's a certain part of his caucus that will not compromise. they will not take any additional revenues, no balanced deal will be available to them that they would support. as a result, i think speaker boehner is going to have to determine how many in his caucus are willing to make a compromise, willing to work together with democrats to get a compromise done. i think president obama has made it very clear that he has been willing to move. he has moved both on revenues and on cuts and spending. but he has not met with any kind of positive response to this point in time. i think speaker boehner wants to get a deal. whatever happened last night it
did not eliminate the risk that the cliff causes our economy, and our people. it's incumbent upon us, therefore, to continue to work towards a solution and to reach a solution prior to the end the year. the fact that members are not in town -- frankly we've been in town for four weeks and members have not been doing much. one of the least productive times since i've been in congress. but the speaker and president were working together where the speaker to sell it to its caucus and the president could sell it to democrats on capitol hill. let's hope they continue do that. i urged both of them to do that. work through the weekend, work into next week. we still have time to come back on the 27th or 28th of this month, and enact a compromise but will only to be done if democrats and republicans work together. >> well, are your willing to give him the votes to put this
over? clearly's not going to be able to deliver a majority of his caucus. so, how many votes -- how many republican votes do you need to get this passed? your willing to take the political heat for this being a democrats virtually democrats only solution? >> andrea, i don't know the answer because i don't know how many votes he has or doesn't have. but both leader pelosi and i on behalf of the democrats in the house said if the president and speaker boehner reach an agreement that we will do everything we can to make sure that agreement has the votes in the house of representatives to pass. and both leader pelosi and i believe it's important for us to do that for the country, for the economy and for the american working people who will face a tax increase on january 1st if we don't get to an agreement. so, i don't know the number but the answer to your question is we're certainly willing and i'm certainly willing network with john boehner to get the
requisite number of votes. i would hope that john boehner to get certainly more than half of his caucus. let me remind you, andrea, when president bush came to a democratic led house and senate in september of 2008 and said we had a cal crisis that could thread a depression if we did not act, as you recall the minority of republicans or the majority of republicans did not support their own president. but the majority of democrats, a handy majority of democrats did support president bush because we thought the country was in crisis and needed help. not in a partisan way but in a bipartisan way and we were there. i think that would be the same in working with john boehner if, in fact, he can get significant numbers of people and reach an agreement with the president. >> steny hoyer, thanks so much. happy holidays to you, if you can have any holiday. we wish you well. >> we're here ready to work. thank you, andrea. happy holidays to you and to
your viewers. >> thanks very much again. that want does it for us a very busy edition of "andrea mitchell reports." we'll take a few days off. my friend tamron hall as a look on "news nation." >> coming up right now in the meantime in our next hour one week after the shootings at newtown the nra comes out with its solution to the gun violence in this country saying quote the only thing that stops a bad guy is a good guy with a gun. reaction from the nra's critics in scathing all day long to say the least and while reaction from some democratic lawmakers have been coming in there's silence from the gop. plus it's being called the lowest moment in john boehner's speakship, members of his own party revolt against his plan b and the fiscal cliff negotiations. so what happens now? democratic congressman sandy levin joins me live.